General and Robust Photothermal-Heating-Enabled High-Efficiency Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting

Bing He, Songru Jia, Mingyang Zhao, Yang Wang, Tao Chen, Shiqiang Zhao, Zhen Li, Zhiqun Lin, Yanli Zhao, Xueqin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The ability of photoanodes to simultaneously tailor light absorption, charge separation, and water oxidation processes represents an important endeavor toward highly efficient photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting. Here, a robust strategy is reported to render markedly improved PEC water splitting via sandwiching a photothermal Co3O4 layer between a BiVO4 photoanode film and an FeOOH/NiOOH electrocatalyst sheet. The deposited Co3O4 layer manifests compelling photothermal effect upon near-infrared irradiation and raises the temperature of the photoanodes in situ, leading to extended light absorption, enhanced charge transfer, and accelerated water oxidation kinetics simultaneously. The judiciously designed NiOOH/FeOOH/Co3O4/BiVO4 photoanode renders a superior photocurrent density of 6.34 mA cm–2 at 1.23 V versus a reversible reference electrode (VRHE) with outstanding applied bias photon-to-current efficiency of 2.72% at 0.6 VRHE. In addition to the metal oxide, a wide variety of metal sulfides, nitrides, and phosphides (e.g., CoS, CoN, and CoP) can be exploited as the heaters to yield high-performance BiVO4-based photoanodes. Apart from BiVO4, other metal oxides (e.g., Fe2O3 and TiO2) can also be covered by photothermal materials to impart significantly promoted water splitting. This simple yet general strategy provides a unique platform to capitalize on their photothermal characteristics to engineer high-performing energy conversion and storage materials and devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2004406
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number16
StatePublished - 22 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH


  • bismuth vanadate
  • photo-electrochemistry
  • photoanodes
  • photothermal effect
  • water splitting


Dive into the research topics of 'General and Robust Photothermal-Heating-Enabled High-Efficiency Photoelectrochemical Water Splitting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this